Blake was never successful in his lifetime. His humble background as the son of a shopkeeper kept him out of the circles of influence that could have helped him. He earned his living as a printer and engraver which is why there are so many pristine examples of his work on display. This was probably a good thing in the end as he was free from the restrictions that usually come with patronage and able to let his imagination produce what we see here.
His later portraits of island women have attracted some notoriety among some critics who view them as exploitative and predatory. The National Gallery focuses on the non-nudes and some of the culture clash that was occurring at the time as the church missionaries made their presence felt. The girls in the the paintings wear European dress, yet they still project a certain fluidity that Gauguin didn’t encounter anywhere else.
Having sold nearly fifty million records, which include four British number ones, Little Mix approach this tour as an experienced outfit. They’ll be promoting their fifth album – LM5 and will be keen to show off their new sound which is sharp, urban and full of big-name collaborations.
Having headlined at Glastonbury last year, Liam and the boys will be full of fight. Expect maximum banter and a bit of Noel-baiting as they cheekily mix reworked Oasis standards with new material and some 60s classics.